Apple gave an hour and fifty minute presentation to kick of the 2021 World Wide Developer's Conference. Jam packed with iOS stuff, but what about new hardware and Final Cut Pro?
WWDC's are always interesting, there's normally the first outing of the new macOS (named Monterey from the now 'infamous crack marketing team') and new hardware. 2019 bought us the new Mac Pro and a virtual 2020 told us about the move to Apple silicon. So what did we take away from today's presentation? Two things stuck out-
1) The first half of the pre-recorded show was aimed more at consumers rather than developers.
2) There was no new hardware and no mention of any new Apple silicon.
On the plus side though, Final Cut Pro did make an appearance, briefly. It was also too small to blow up so CSI Twitter couldn't get to work looking for new buttons.
The video embedded below plays from the start.
So yes, we were slightly disappointed with the lack of hardware, but there was a lot in there, especially for iOS and iPadOS.
In the macOS section, Universal Control in Monterey allows a Mac's keyboard and mouse to control a nearby iPad, as if it was tethered. You don't get the extra screen real estate, but you do get the ability to drag and drop across devices.
The video embedded below goes straight to the macOS Monterey section.
Once Craig Federighi had walked past that astonishing bank of rack mounted Mac Pros, his demo of Universal Control is impressive with the iPad, but even more impressive when he controls another Mac with the MacBook Pro. This is where FCP manages to sneak in.
We can see Universal Control really helping when editing as we are always trying to copy or link things across machines. Yes the copy and paste from iPhone to Mac is almost magical, but this takes the ease of use to another level.
We also liked the idea of bringing the Shortcuts feature from iOS to macOS. Automator will continue to be supported, but this looks the start of a transition to the new tool. We really hope that Final Cut Pro can be addressed with Shortcuts. Off the top of our head, we can see it being used for simple things like a render notification, to more complicated workflow ideas such as the auto syncing of a media folder and a corresponding FCP event.
Lastly, (and near the end of the presentation) Object Capture looked interesting. It is a macOS API that builds 3D models by using photogrammetry. Now, before everyone gets excited thinking we can import photos into Motion and with a click make a 3D model, it isn't that simple. It looks like you need a 3D application like Maxon's Cinema 4D to do the clever stuff.
Want to know more, but haven't got the two hours to watch the presentation? No problem, Apple has just released this two and a half minute supercut of today's news.
So with no new hardware announced, will we see an Apple event dedicated to the new MacBook Pros that are rumoured to be launched soon?